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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Conceptualization of Safety in Therapeutic Adventure Programs: Viewing Therapeutic Adventure Programs Through the Lenses of Safety and Wellness
by Hartwig, Shannon, M.A., Prescott College, 2012, 131; 1510831
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis project explores explicit practices and widely held nuances regarding safety and risk within Therapeutic Adventure Programs (TAP). Safety, which is identified as a top priority for TAP, is generally considered the active protection from physical danger, risk, or injury. Most literature asserts that the main goal of TAP is to provide opportunities for growth, healing, and development for participants with a specific set of needs. This paper emphasizes that pursuing wellness as an alternative to safety, would better capture the stated objectives and outcomes of TAP, and better serve programs in meeting an intentional therapeutic goal. Five TAP participated in this research study. A textual analysis was completed on organizational staff manuals. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted with organization managers and field instructors. The results indicate that safety is still largely regarded as a physical concept in staff manuals and in language used by managers and field instructors. The results also indicate there is an acknowledgement that safety pertains to the emotional and other human dimensions of a participant. The results indicate that physical safety is heavily directed by each organization's policies, procedures, and standards. The promotion of emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, and environmental wellness is dependent on the individual initiative of field instructors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mitten, Denise
Commitee: Cox Caniglia, Noel, Fenton, Lara
School: Prescott College
Department: Adventure Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Health education
Keywords: Risk, Safety, Stress, Therapeutic adventure, Wellness
Publication Number: 1510831
ISBN: 978-1-267-35592-8
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